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Coco Hair, the Face, So Sweet….

September 26, 2009

IMG_1588Hair master, Fred Vandebunt and his muse, (now Coco before Chanel), Audrey Tautou

(All text and photos by Susan M. Kirschbaum)

Anthony Lane, the film critic of the New Yorker basically says  that darling French actress Audrey Tautou can’t pull off the bitchy hard edged (in cheekbones, too) Coco Chanel in  “Coco Before Chanel,” because she’s too lovely. Nothing to do with her acting skills, but more with the idea that Tautou is “mignonne.” Definition of mignonne:  small, delicately formed, and pretty ; dainty. Coco, while stylish, could murder  the heart with a gaze and a scowl.

I did not screen the movie, but I did have the pleasure of meeting the shy and charming  Ms. Tautou last week at a roof top party for the Last Magazine. And, I know her hair magician, stylist Fred Vandebunt (who also styles Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen.)  I did  a little interview with Fred “Scissorhands,” below. After all, who cares if the New Yorker thinks Audrey can’t do bitch when she’s  got great hair.

SK: How long have you been styling/cutting Audrey’s hair? What style did she have when she first arrived under your care?

FRED: I have been doing her hair since 2004 while working with her on “A Very Long Engagement” movie promo. She had longer hair at the time and I created a tussled look for the premiere. Her hair has had all different lengths over the years, but now it’s pretty short.

SK: Why is this cut perfect for young Coco?

FRED: It works well with her features. She is very petite and has a lot of hair so you don’t want to give her something too big.

SK: Beyond the role, why does this style suit Audrey in real life?

FRED: She is low maintenance and she doesn’t want to spend a long time on her own hair when the beauty team isn’t around.

SK: What styles would you lie to try on her in the future?

FRED: It all depends what she will be wearing when I do her hair. She can handle a lot of different styles so I think I could do anything on her. I changed it constantly during the promo tour.

SK: Do you feel this cut will spur a hair trend in France, the US, Europe?

FRED: Short hair has always been around. It might become a trend but in the US it will always be the boring long hair that will be on most covers although this month’s Vogue cover show a nice pixie cut on Michelle Williams. And I have taken note at  the “Coco Before Chanel” premiere that  Agyness Deyn turned her blonde locks back into black short crop so it might become a trend after all.  We’ll see.

Gabrielle Coco Chanel

Dear old mean Gabrielle Coco Chanel… Great Style, a real BITCH.


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